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Rovers Strike Back

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The Hawthorns




Blackburn managed to hold off a fast finishing WBA, despite being reduced to 10 men after the dismissal of double goal scoring hero, Nikola Kalinic, taking all 3 points on the road with a well deserved 3-1 victory.

In what appeared to be an attack minded formation, Rovers resorted to a travelling 4-4-2 formation, with MB Diouf forced to work hard as the man up front with Kalinic, as well as dropping back into a wide midfield role in defence.




Nelsen (C)




EH Diouf


MB Diouf


With Chris Samba joining Keith Andrews, Vince Grella, Steve Nzonzi and Jason Roberts on the injury list, Blackburn's bench looked like a line up for the future.

Despite the injury problems, it was Blackburn who got of to an absolute flyer. After missing the Boxing Day encounter, EH Diouf was a man on a mission from the outset. Dioufy picked out Kalinic who sprung the offside trap, and managed to slot the ball past Scott Carson, rolling it into the far corner of the net, 1-0 Blackburn.

In what was shaping to be an even yet exciting counter, the first 10-15 minutes consisted of several opportunites for both teams. West Brom moved the ball quickly, preferring to spread it out wide and use the trickery and pace of Tchoyi and James Morrison, catching out Salgado and Olsson on the counter. Blackburn had a slightly more direct style, however both EH Diouf and Gamst Pedersen tried to drag the ball out wide.

Nikola Kalinic looked a reborn striker, and could of easily had a second within 15 minutes. Niko combined well with Dunn, cut past his first man, then struck his bending shot slightly too hard, clipping the top of the woodwork.

Rovers were left to rue this missed opportunity only minutes later. James Morrison released Tchoyi down the right flank, managing to get in behind Martin Olsson. His first time ball went straight across the Rovers goal, with Jerome Thomas left to strike into an empty net. 1-1.

West Brom picked up the tempo in the back end of the half, and were marginly unlucky not to go ahead. A Dorrans shot struck Nelsen in the hand, however referee Phil Dowd correctly ruled it was ball to hand, rather then hand to ball. Odemwingie was released late on in the half, forcing a superb save by Paul Robinson, diving at full stretch to his right to ensure the visitors went in on par at the break...1-1

Rovers were forced into a rare change at the break, Mark Bunn making his first appearance for the season after Paul Robinson picked up a knock. Junior Hoillet came on early in the half for Michel Salgado in an attacking move, with Brett Emerton dropping into the right fullback position.

Blackburn managed to reclaim the lead not too long after. Diouf earned Rovers a corner, which was duly delivered to the far post. Ryan Nelsen lept the highest, heading back across goal, and Kalinic pounced, heading in for the second of his night. 2-1 Blackburn.

Kalinic really could of and should of had his third only minutes later. A backpass from Tamas was miscontrolled by Scott Carson, the ball bouncing into Kalinic's path. However the young Croat's must of been just as surprised, with his first touch forcing the ball back into Carson's arms. A missed opportunity.

Steve Kean didnt have to wait much longer for that important third goal. A Short corner by Pedersen was whipped on by EH Diouf, with on-loan striker, MB Diouf diving at full stretch, heading in from 3 yards and giving Blackburn the ever important 2 goal advantage. 3-1 Blackburn

The travelling supporters were in full voice, until a rash challenge by Nikola Kalinic on Paul Scharner was deemed a dangerous challenge by Phil Dowd, and he was rightly sent off. Replays did Kalinic no justice, with his tackle coming in late, and just above the trailing ankle of the Austrian.

West Brom attempted to pounce on the opportunity, bringing on an extra man up front, and at one stage, only had to break down 9 men with Olsson picking up a knock. However Mark Bunn was keen to prove to the manager that he was more then capable, pulling of a stunning reflex save from Cox from point blank range, and taking full control of any long ball coming into his path. Benjani came on late for El Hadji Diouf, with the Senegalese international ensuring he left the Hawthorns in the only fashion he knows how, giving a bit back to the home supporters who booed him all night, waving to all corners of the ground and taking some precious seconds of the clock.

Blackburn really should of pinched a fourth late on, as Mb Diouf completely made a fool of Tamas, who then reacted with a sickening challenge from behind, bringing down MB Diouf who was through on goal, and earning himself a red card.

A very, very important win for Blackburn, 3-1

Star Player

Nikola Kalinic

Worked his socks of all game, and got his due rewards, 2 fantastic goals. Stupid challenge late on wont help his cause though, as we all already without Jason Roberts

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 8

Superb save from Robbo, and was playing well before he picked up a knock

Ryan Nelsen 8

One or two shaky moments, but apart from that, it was the Ryan of old, first to every ball and marshelled the defence well

Martin Olsson 7

Started off slowly, but as the game went on, managed to shut down the flank, as well as hit on the counter

Grant Hanley 7

Solid game from the young man, held his ground well, kept it safe and tidy

Michel Salgado 6

Slightly off the pace from the evergreen Spaniard, maybe should of been rested after playing a couple of days ago

David Dunn 2

Shocking performance from Dunn. Dont think he made a succession of passes, looked really sloppy, and at times dis interested. Fought back late on when we were desperate

Gamst Pedersen 6

Drifted in and out of the match, great deliveries on set pieces

El Hadji Diouf 8

Stellar performance from Diouf. Attacked down both flanks and looked dangerous at all times. Was booked for a dive, yes he went down easily, but at no stage did he claim for a foul....

Brett Emerton 7

Another solid game from the Australian. Worked well down the right flank, then shored it up in defence when moved back

MB Diouf 8

Very lively, hungry, worked his rear end off and deserved his goal. Really enjoys playing up front with someone, keep it up

Nikola Kalinic 9

Really shows what he is capable off when he has somebody with him up front. Takes away a lot of the pressure, 2 well taken goals

Mark Bunn 9

His performance has just sealed Jason Browns fate. What a delightful 45 minutes he had, 2 spectacular saves, and commanded the high balls well.

Junior Hoillet 6

The attacking intent is all there, but whether the ability can match it or not, thats yet to be determined


Lol. enough said

Manager Rating

Steve Kean- 8

Despite all the bagging he has recieved, we need to say, he got it right. He noticed that we were getting done on the flanks, dropped Brett Emerton back in for Salgado who was cautioned. He noticed Diouf was starting to get fired up, and took him off, giving him a short yet sharp word as he came off. He played 2 upfront away from home, and reaped the rewards

Opponent Rating

The gaffer can count himself unlucky. He got his tactics right, attack the flanks, and get the ball in the box, via the floor. Just wasnt his day

Date:Tuesday December 28 2010
Time: 10:23PM

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Let's forget all that's happening at the club an enjoy this win for what it was!
28/12/2010 22:27:00
Not sure I'd agree with your assessment of Kalinic dude, straight and undisputed red card in my book does not earn you a 9.
28/12/2010 22:32:00
Would of got a 10 if it wasn't for that challenge! He played brilliantly, gave them a horrible time, his best game In the jersey, well that's my opinion anyways!
28/12/2010 22:56:00
Forget the red, Kalinic was easily man of the match and well worth the 9
28/12/2010 23:39:00
Dunn was poor AGAIN. He is no longer Premiership quality and should be shipped out. He has no pace and gives the ball away too often in dangerous positions (he may also be deaf as he doesn't seem to hear the fans shouting 'man on' either) Just because he is a 'local boy' managers seem frightened to drop him and put him on the transfer list. I suppose there would be a reaction from the 'good old Dunnie' brigade but the new manager/owners should have the courage to take the bull by the horns and sell him. Rovers would now be better without him, we should be able to get some cash for him from a Championship club in January, before everyone realises that he has lost it. Keep him till the Summer? then he could be almost worthless, if he keeps playing as badly as he has been doing so far this season.
29/12/2010 02:01:00
Kalinic is a great striker hes also very aggressive but thats something I like about him.
29/12/2010 03:11:00
Great performance by Niko (apart from the bad tackle). The first goal was a Class finish and the way he played just proves that he plays better in 4-4-2 with a supporting striker. Sam never seemed to realise this so you have to give Steve Kean some credit he's took 3 precious points on a tough ground. Panic over??... For now at least, lol
29/12/2010 10:38:00
hopefully, this is the start of better things to come. dunn has certainly been off, but he's just coming back from injury. i would give him a little time and keep him at least until we find a creative midfielder.
29/12/2010 17:34:00
dunn should stay til he retires, id loan him out. hes been a loyal servant for most of his career and should be treated as such.
29/12/2010 19:12:00
Dunn just needs to get fit, With the right players around him he will come good again, he is just severly lacking fitness
29/12/2010 19:42:00
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